The famous Lamu Cultural Festival has been cancelled for the second time.
Speaking to Opera News Hub on Sunday, Lamu Culture, Tourism, Trade and Industrialization Executive Josephat Musembi confirmed the cancellation of this years fete, attributing the move to the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
According to Mr Musembi, Lamu is still witnessing a very low uptake of Covid-19 jab and that organizing such an event that attracts thousands of guests, tourists and locals is improper.
The Lamu Cultural Festival was launched in 2000 and is celebrated annually in Lamu Old Town, a historical place that was in 2001 listed by Unesco as a World Heritage Site.
In 2020, the festival was cancelled at the last minute due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Musembi said his department was working closely with the health authority to encourage increased uptake of the Covid-19 jab in the region.
The Lamu County Department of Health socio-behavioural study conducted in August this year established that the pandemic fatigue is still spreading amongst the people of Lamu and getting more complacent, and risk perceptions were falling across the county.
“It is hard for us to hold the cultural festival this year due to low uptake of Covid-19 vaccine in our county. Nevertheless, we are working closely with our health department to encourage more uptake. I, therefore, urge everyone who is 18 years and above to go for the vaccine,” said Mr Musembi.
The annual Lamu Cultural festival is always preceded by various competitions led by the famous donkey race, swimming, dhow races, and traditional dances.
Other activities featured include henna painting, Swahili Cuisine exhibitions among others.
Previous festivals have seen the region host over 30,000 people from local and global destinations who flock to the island to witness the magical moments of the fete.
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